We provide pragmatic focused advice that clients working in the fashion industry need.
Whether the work involves contractual drafting, or negotiating the best deal for our clients we are able to use our industry knowledge combined with our close understanding of business and intellectual property matters to make a difference. We regularly advise clients throughout the fashion industry from designers and manufactures to models and retailers.
Branding is the key to protecting designers. We register trademarks in the UK, Europe and worldwide at cost effective, value for money, fixed prices. Take a look at our trademark pages to read more about our trademark registration services.
We help designers understand how copyright, and designs, protect their works, and what additional steps they may usefully take to protect their creative products. The best way to protect your designs is by applying for design registration before showing them. We can register designs for you in the UK and Europe as well as internationally, including registering your design for copyright protection in the U.S.
By registering single design items, the design itself can be protected rather than just a specific garment. So a fabric pattern, once registered, would be protected wherever it appeared, on any type of garment or another product. Designers have up to a year from first displaying their novel designs in which to apply for registration, enabling them to test the market before deciding which designs they wish to protect. An EU wide single design registration system means that once a registration is accepted it will be enforceable across all the Member States.
However, design registration is, in practice, not a significant method of intellectual property protection in this fast moving industry because it is little used by the industry even though it would be a lot easier to protect designers' ideas from theft if the design registration system were used. It would make a stronger case against counterfeiters.
To bring an action against counterfeiters through unregistered design right and copyright, you have the burden of proving the infringer copied your work. Conversely, if your design is formally registered, no such proof of copying is required. If a later design is the same or similar to a registered design, whether or not it is a copy, then the later design will be an infringement of the registered design. The owner of the registered design will be allowed to demand a licence fee, or order the infringing designs to be removed from the market.
For manufacturing or subcontracting work abroad, you need agreements that protect your brand and secure your rights.
We can also offer guidance on a range of important contractual matters in the fashion industry including licensing, distribution, manufacturing, and franchising.
To discuss how we might be able to help you
If you need legal work please call us on +44 (0)20 7700 1414 or if you prefer send us an enquiry using the form below. Depending on your requirements we may suggest a free meeting. This is often the best way to assess whether we would be the right firm for you, and to understand the work involved, your priorities, attitude to risk, and desired timescales.